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Above: Despite their relatively large cranial capacities, babies such as this one are so unintelligent that they are unable to distinguish colorful plastic squeak toys from food sources.

      LOS ANGELES--A surprising new study released Monday by UCLA's Institute For Child Development revealed that human babies, long thought by psychologists to be highly inquisitive and adaptable, are actually extraordinarily stupid.

      The study, an 18-month battery of intelligence tests administered to over 3,500 babies, concluded categorically that babies are "so stupid, it's not even funny."

Sample Results:

Baby #2,678:
TEST SITUATION:
THROWN TO PACK OF WILD DOGS.

RESULT:
EATEN.

Baby #217:
TEST SITUATION:
WRAPPED IN PLASTIC SHEETING.

RESULT:
COULD NOT FREE SELF. NEARLY SUFFOCATED.

Baby #856:
TEST SITUATION:
PLACED IN CENTER OF LAKE ERIE IN ROWBOAT WITH NAUTICAL MAP TO SHORE PROVIDED.

RESULT:
STILL ADRIFT NEAR ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY.

      According to Institute president Molly Bentley, in an effort to determine infant survival instincts when attacked, the babies were prodded in an aggressive manner with a broken broom handle. Over 90 percent of them, when poked, failed to make even rudimentary attempts to defend themselves. The remaining 10 percent responded by vacating their bowels.

      "It is unlikely that the presence of the babies' fecal matter, however foul-smelling, would have a measurable defensive effect against an attacker in a real-world situation," Bentley said.

      Another test, in which the infants were placed on a mound of dirt outdoors during a torrential downpour, produced similarly bleak results.

      "The chicken, dog and even worm babies that we submitted to the test as a control group all had enough sense to come in from the rain or, at least, seek shelter under a leafy clump of vegetation or outcropping of rock," test supervisor Thomas Howell said. "The human babies, on the other hand, could not grasp even this incredibly basic concept, instead merely lying on the ground and making gurgling noises."

      According to Howell, almost 60 percent of the infants tested in this manner eventually drowned.

      Some of the babies tested were actually so stupid that they choked to death on pieces of Micronaut space toys. Others, unable to use such primitive instruments as can openers and spoons due to insufficient motor skills, simply starved to death, despite being surrounded by cabinets full of nutritious, life-giving Gerber-brand baby-food products.

      Babies, the study concluded, are also too stupid to do the following: avoid getting their heads trapped in automatic car windows; use ice to alleviate the pain of burn injuries resulting from touching an open flame; master the skills required for scuba diving; and use a safety ladder to reach a window to escape from a room filled with cyanide gas.

      "As a mother of four, I find these results very disheartening," Bentley told reporters. "I can honestly say that the effort I have expended trying to raise my children into intelligent beings may have been entirely wasted--a fool's dream, if you will."

      Study results also prompted a strong reaction from President Clinton. "All of us, on some primitive, mammalian level, feel a great sense of pride in our offspring," Clinton said. "It is now clear, however, that these feelings are unfounded. Given the overwhelming evidence of their profound stupidity, we have no choice but to replace our existing infant population with artificially incubated simu-drones, with the eventual goal of phasing out the shamefully stupid human baby forever."




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